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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) goes to court to prevent the abortion pill RU-486 from being distributed without an in-person medical consultation, two prominent pro-life figures are making the case for federal health officials to pull the drug from the market entirely.

Earlier this year, the FDA restricted abortionists from dispensing the pill without seeing their patients in-person on the grounds that “to ensure that: (1) at the time of dispensing, the patient has the opportunity to receive counseling about the risk of serious complications associated with Mifeprex and what to do should they arise; and (2) there is no delay in the patient receiving their Mifeprex prescription, which could increase the risks of serious bleeding or infection.”

Left-wing groups have challenged the measure, which is currently pending in federal court. On Wednesday, Live Action president Lila Rose and the Charlotte Lozier Institute’s professor Michael New published an op-ed in the Washington Examiner “demanding the removal of this deadly drug from the U.S. market.”

“In addition to the more than 3.7 million children legally killed by the abortion pill, there is a significant body of research showing that chemical abortions pose serious health risks to women,” Rose and New argued. “For instance, a 2015 study that appeared in Obstetrics and Gynecology analyzed comprehensive data from Medicaid billing records in California. It found that chemical abortions result in a complication rate four times higher than that of first-trimester surgical abortions. The risk of a major complication with a chemical abortion was nearly twice as high as the risk of a major complication with a first-trimester surgical abortion. Additionally, a 2009 study of over 42,000 women from Finland found that 20 percent of women who obtained chemical abortions experienced an ‘adverse event’ afterward.”

The piece goes on to detail a Live Action-commissioned survey that found evidence that misinformation is driving public support for RU-486, and that public opinion would significantly change if given the facts, even among those who said they were “unsure” or “pro-choice” on abortion.

“Forty-five percent of people initially thought the abortion pill should be available,” the piece states. “Participants then watched a video that informed viewers of how the abortion pill works to end pregnancy, explaining that during a chemical abortion, a woman will experience heavy bleeding and likely encounter the remains of her baby. After the video, a plurality opposed the abortion pill, and net approval of the abortion pill regimen fell by 17 percentage points.”

The op-ed complements a letter sent least month to FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn, signed by 23 pro-life leaders including Rose, the American Association of Pro-Life OB/GYNs’ Donna Harrison, the Radiance Foundation’s Ryan Bomberger and the Center for Medical Progress’s David Daleiden.

“According to the Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the abortion pill poses a four-times higher risk of complication than surgical abortion in the first trimester,” the letter says. “Despite these risks, the abortion industry has, for years, sought the total removal of all safety protocols and has even encouraged illegal means to circumvent REMS” (Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategy requirements).

“For these reasons, we urge you to pull the abortion pill from the U.S. market immediately and declare it an imminent hazard to the public health under 21 CFR § 2.5,” the letter concluded. “We also encourage your continued efforts to stop the illegal trafficking of black market abortion pills into US commerce, and to fight back against the abortion industry’s radical push to overturn REMS in the courts.”